To all of the PR students graduating this semester and to those past graduates, congratulations. This is a time to celebrate that you will never have to write another term paper again or take another mid-term exam (except for you grad school overachievers). For the rest of us, we now have to get our lives in order and start on the 2nd act in our lives (the 1st act being childhood and the 3rd act being retirement/senility/adult diapers). In this 2nd act, we must now become dependent on ourselves to provide food and shelter. I know it sounds like a daunting task, but do not fret because it is much easier than it sounds to cook something other than a hot pocket.
Katherine Strate is a soon to be PR graduate from the University of Georgia and she collected Five Pieces of Advice that should help make it a little easier to transition from a student to a PR professional. Strate writes about many matters plaguing graduates, but her most important point focuses on being proactive in job hunting and while at the first job/internship.
At PR Channel, a site that features thousands of agency listings, the site solicited comments from many of its agencies concerning Advice for the PR Grad. The most interesting comment that I found involved the use of social media in finding a PR job. Here is what Heather Huhman, founder of entrylevel-pr.com had to say:
sign up for Twitter, start following thought leaders in public relations (specifically, the area of public relations that interests you most, such as health care), and get engaged via the various PR hashtags: #PRadvice for asking pros questions, #EntryPR for entry-level jobs and #PRintern for internships.
This is great advice and I can attest to twitter being a valuable tool for networking purposes. I met up with Brian Stelter, current NY Times columnist and creator of TVNewser, through him asking on twitter if there were any ASU Cronkite students that tweeted. I naturally responded and ended up having a lunch interview with him and other Cronkite students. It just goes to show that Twitter and other social media sites have a profound effect on marketing, and in an economy where employers are looking to hire 22% less jobs than last year, it is important to get as many legs up as possible.
Before going, I want to leave everyone with a youtube video of a British PR/Marketing professional giving some advice on how to best deal with finding a job in this economy. Besides us having a better army than the Brits, we are pretty similar in most everything else: